Kyren Wilson accomplished a lifelong dream by winning the Shanghai Masters in September and the Kettering potter insists he is now hungrier than ever to recapture that feeling.
Wilson shocked the snooker world two months ago when he beat players such as Joe Perry, Ding Junhui and Mark Allen before downing Judd Trump 10-9 in the final in Shanghai to lift the trophy and pocket £85,000 of winnings.
Ranked world No.54 at the time, the 23-year-old became the lowest-ranked player to win a ranking title since Shaun Murphy won the World Championships in 2005.
And while Wilson acknowledges that he didn’t quite put the required work in immediately after reaching the top of the mountain, he is now laser-focused on getting back there.
“The first week when I got back I slacked a little bit just enjoying myself because I’d won,” said Wilson.
“I didn’t practise as hard as I should have and I got brought back to earth at the Ruhr Open – so I’ve been straight back to the practice and working as hard as I was before I won it.
“It felt very natural when I won it – it’s just born in me to play snooker. Once you’ve lifted one trophy you want to keep lifting trophies because you’ve tasted the success.
“I’ve got to keep grounded and keep working hard otherwise things can change very quickly.
“But having a ranking event under my belt and knowing I can do it against the big players is great.
“My life has taken off and I’m so busy but it shows how well I’m doing.”
After a couple of disappointing tournaments, Wilson – who is now ranked at 22 in the world – showed he is back to his best by reaching the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions event last week.
Next on the docket for the Kettering native is next week’s UK Championships in York, one of snooker’s ‘triple crown’ events along with the World Championships and the Masters.
Wilson opens up with a first round match against Paul Davison and after some heartbreaking results at the Barbican Centre in the last couple of years, he is desperate to make his mark this time around.
“The UK Championships will be fantastic especially with them being such a huge event,” he added.
“It would be great to do well in York because I’ve not had the most success there. I lost a close one 6-5 to Anthony McGill on the black a couple of years ago and then lost 6-5 to Neil Robertson last year.
“You get up a bit more for the big ones and there’s a bug about it, so it would be nice to go on a good run there.”
Read our feature interview with Kyren Wilson in this week’s Northamptonshire Telegraph
Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing all major ranking events including the World Championship, UK Championship the Masters and the exclusive “Ronnie O’Sullivan Show.” Available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT TV or online/mobile via eurosportplayer.com